The Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention Bill
During the 2022 Regular Session, the Fentanyl Accountability and Prevention Bill (HB22-1326) was presented. The proposed law would require anyone charged with a fentanyl-based offense to be assessed and potentially ordered to participate in a Colorado addiction treatment program. The possibility of sending hundreds of people into state-funded addiction treatment facilities might overwhelm clinicians, who could face capacity and management issues.
The Bill states:
“Concerning measures to address synthetic opiates, and, in connection therewith, changing the criminal penalties associated with synthetic opiates; using a substance abuse assessment to direct appropriate treatment at sentencing; providing opiate antagonists in the community; providing synthetic opiate detection tests in the community; creating immunity for furnishing synthetic opiate detection tests; providing treatment for persons in the criminal justice system; developing a fentanyl prevention and education campaign; providing funding for substance use and harm reduction; evaluating the substance use and harm reduction needs across the state; requiring a post-enactment review of the implementation of this act; and making an appropriation.”
Pushing More People into Treatment Has Divided Lawmakers & Clinicians
Some Colorado clinicians believe the law will be a step in the right direction despite temporary staffing shortages and other potential strains. Others believe an inherent lack of effective, reputable treatment options will put some Coloradians in a tough position. However, a lack of addiction treatment in Colorado is not a new issue. An estimated 43,000 Colorado residents currently meet the diagnostic criteria for an opioid use disorder, and fewer than half of these individuals have access to the treatment services they need to begin healing. While some services like methadone maintenance clinics are readily available, more effective, long-term treatment options — like residential rehab — can be difficult to come by and unaffordable.
At CuraWest we are dedicated to providing an individualized and effective curriculum of clinical care to those in need, starting with a short stay in a privately operated detox center and continuing with an immediate transition into a higher level of care. Our new residential program caters to Colorado residents who would benefit from longer term care. We work directly with many major regional and national health insurance providers, ensuring the services we offer remain accessible and affordable. today to learn more.